Ford’s new-car camouflage will confuse cameras, give you headaches

The automaker engineered a new advantage in the constant war against spy photographers.

If only you could order this camouflage from the factory. You'd never have a hard time finding your car.

If only you could order this camouflage from the factory. You’d never have a hard time finding your car.

Keeping a new car secret is a tough job, especially in the age of phone cameras. That’s why Ford went back to the drawing board (literally) to build a new type of car camouflage that should cut down on those pesky spy shots.

Automakers need to test new cars in real-world environments, but that may happen months before a car hits the stage at an international auto show. To prevent keen eyes from seeing a new model ahead of time, automakers use camouflage, which can be either vinyl wraps (like this one), or additional body panels that bulk up a car’s shape.

This new camo is called “Brick,” because it sort of looks like a big collection of bricks. It’s been given a great deal of layering and depth to throw off phone and camera focusing, so shots end up either out of focus or distracting attention away from the important bits automakers haven’t yet revealed to the world.

Of course, you might be saying, “This isn’t camouflage, this is a rather obvious getup.” It’s not meant to blend into the background, but rather screw with both human eyes and cameras. New cars regularly contain new design elements, and camo helps to obscure those parts. The example used here is…well, I can’t tell you what it is, because I can barely look at the thing without a migraine kicking in.

This solution is a touch more elegant than using additional body panels. Furthermore, using a vinyl wrap alone will make it easier for engineers to gauge real-world fuel economy, because it’s not like your average owner drives around with 100 pounds of plastic bolted to the side of the car.


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